This procedure involves plastic surgery of the labia (lips) surrounding the vagina. This may involve the outer, larger lips (labia majora) or the smaller, inner lips (labia minora) or both. Most commonly the inner lips, labia minora, are addressed by reducing the excess and creating better balance and symmetry as well as alleviation of discomfort which is often associated with labia hypertrophy (excessive size of the labia minora). The labia majora is often treated to restore volume to this area which may be naturally deficient or an acquired defect. Fat grafting, to provide improved shape and contour, is often a good solution for this issue. These procedures may be combined with a number of other aesthetic surgeries or performed alone. Dr. Simon performs labiaplasties under local anesthesia. Patients are often surprised to hear that this is a good option, however it can be done with very little discomfort and is extremely well tolerated.
Your Surgical Experience
Labiaplasties are performed on an outpatient basis in Dr. Simon’s Plastic Surgery center, under local anesthesia with oral sedation or under general anesthesia if combined with other procedures.
Smokers may be asked to stop all nicotine use at least 4 weeks before surgery. Nicotine, in any form, can seriously hinder the healing process and is best to avoid for any surgical procedure.
Aspirin, certain anti-inflammatory medications, supplements such as green tea (and others) increase the risk of bleeding and will therefore be avoided prior to surgery. Specific instructions regarding these and others as well as the timing will be discussed with patients at their pre-operative visit.
The skin and tissue of the labia is such that there are usually no visible scars. The incisions are made as needed to address the excess labia tissue and create the desired contour and size. Sutures are absorbable and therefore will not need to be removed. The labia majora, if treated with fat grafting to improve the overall shape and balance, will only require very small incisions which will not lead to any visible scars.
Before & After
The Consultation Process
Dr. Simon and his office staff will make your surgical experience as easy and comfortable for you as possible. You will discuss with Dr. Simon your areas of concern and your goals from labiaplasty surgery. Dr. Simon will examine you to determine the best procedure for you which will lead to the optimal desired outcome.
Any possible alternatives will also be discussed. Dr. Simon will spend as much time as necessary with you to make you feel comfortable and answer all of your questions. Patients will also meet with a surgical coordinator and will be provided with more information regarding their procedure of choice.
What to Expect After Surgery
You will see Dr. Simon and his assistants in the first few days after surgery for the first follow up appointment. Dressings will be removed and further instructions given. You will be permitted to shower the first day after surgery. Patients may return to work within a few days, depending on the level of physical labor involved.
Some discoloration and swelling will occur initially and will peak by the 2nd or 3rd day, but this will subside over the following days and weeks. Supplements and vitamins will be provided by Dr. Simon and his staff to allow for rapid and successful healing. Ice packs can be useful to control discomfort and swelling in the early postoperative period, as well as sitz baths to clean the vaginal area. Approximately 6 weeks of healing time is required prior to resuming strenuous exercise and sexual intercourse.
The subject of risks and potential complications of a labiaplasty is best discussed on a personal basis between you and Dr. Simon at the time of your consultation. A small amount of bleeding from the suture line can happen and is considered normal. However, any excess or persistent bleeding should be communicated with our office.
Long Term Results
The results of the procedure are long lasting. Future pregnancies and vaginal childbirth can affect the appearance of the vagina.